***UPDATE March 14, 2017***
Charleston County officials will hold an open house for residents to review new FEMA flood maps.
The open house will take place on March 20-22.
March 20 from 2-7 p.m.
Lonnie Hamilton, III
Public Services Building
4045 Bridge View Drive Council Chambers, 2nd Floor
March 21 from 3-7 p.m.
CE Williams Middle School
640 Butte Street
March 22 from 2-7 p.m.
131 Middle Street
Officials say the open houses will provide residents of Charleston County the opportunity to see the preliminary flood maps, learn about their risk of flooding, and
ask questions about what the new maps will mean for their property.
Residents can meet one-on-one with a variety of specialists who will be available to talk about flood insurance, engineering, building permits and more.
PRELIMINARY MAPS GO INTO EFFECT IN APRIL 2018
FEMA has been promising new flood maps for several years now, and earlier this week they released preliminary maps to the Charleston County Building Department. These maps will update the Charleston and surrounding area for the first time since 2004 and will provide property owners with up-to-date flood hazard information designed to prevent homeowners from purchasing expensive and unnecessary flood insurance policies.
Whenever flood maps are updated, there are winners and losers. Some people are moved out of flood zones, while others are moved into flood zones, often for the first time. It’s important to understand what your risk is and FEMA will host public meetings to provide the public opportunities to review the maps and ask questions. The dates of those meetings have not yet been announced. The public will also have an opportunity to file objections to the mapping of their property. Details about the objection process will be released at the public meetings and on FEMA’s website.
From the Moultrie News
“The preliminary maps will start a year or more process to get to a final set of maps for our citizens. The maps will be technically reviewed and presented to the public sometime this fall, according to FEMA and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Following the public meetings, a 90-day period will allow anyone who has problems with the maps to file their concern with FEMA,” said Charleston County Building Inspections Director Carl Simmons. “The current maps and regulations will remain official and used until the new maps are finalized and approved by local ordinances.”
The projected effective date of the maps, following the County’s review and comments as well as the public meetings and objection filings, is April of 2018, according to FEMA.
Citizens with properties within the jurisdiction of a municipality who have questions should contact that municipality’s floodplain coordinator. Citizens with properties within unincorporated Charleston County who have questions, should call 843-202-6957. You can also reach the FEMA Map Information eXchange at 1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627).
View Charleston County Flood Map GIS
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PRELIMINARY MAPS, VISIT FEMA’S FLOOD MAP CENTER
How Map Changes Affect Flood Insurance
|If Maps Show …||These Requirements, Options, and Savings Apply|
|Change from moderate to low flood risk (Zones B, C, or X) to high risk (Zones A, AE, AH, AO, V, or VE)||Flood insurance is mandatory. Flood insurance is federally required for most mortgage holders. Insurance costs may rise to reflect the true (or high) risk.
The Newly Mapped procedure can offer savings.
Policyholders not eligible for the Newly Mapped procedure may still benefit from the NFIP’s Grandfather Rule. Eligible policyholders can keep their prior zone or Base Flood Elevation for rating purposes after maps change. Grandfathering applies if the structure was built in compliance with an earlier map or the policyholder has maintained continuous flood coverage.
|Change from high flood risk (Zones A, AE, AH, AO, V, or VE) to moderate to low risk (Zone X or Shaded X)||Flood insurance is optional but still recommended. The risk is only reduced, not removed. You can still obtain flood insurance, and at a lower rate. Even though flood insurance isn’t federally required, everyone is financially vulnerable to floods. In fact, people outside of mapped high-risk flood areas file more than 20 percent of all NFIP flood insurance claims and receive one-third of Federal disaster assistance for flooding. When it’s available, disaster assistance is typically a loan that you must repay with interest.
Conversion offers savings. Your insurance agent can easily convert an existing policy to a lower-cost PRP if the building qualifies. Note that lenders always have the option to require flood insurance in these areas.
|Change from high flood risk (Zones A or AE) to higher flood risk (Zones V or VE), or increase in the Base Flood Elevation (BFE)||The NFIP’s Grandfather Rule allows policyholders who have built in compliance with the flood map in effect at the time of construction to lock in the earlier BFE or flood zone to calculate their insurance rate in the future. This option could result in significant savings.|
|No change in risk level||No change in insurance rates. However, this is a good time to review your coverage and ensure that your building and contents are adequately protected.|
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Realtor, Dunes Properties, Member of the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors,